Thursday, May 31, 2012

House Finches, Part 1

A brief break from the Canada trip to bring you activity from my front porch.

Many years ago, when The Strawberry Patch Quilt Shop was still open in Pennsylvania, I bought this blueberry twig wreath.  It has hung on the front wall of the house ever since.  Several families of birds have thought it a good nesting site, but it is a bit lopsided with the nest on it!  See the second indent line from the right?  The nest is right there, at the top of the wreath.  It was only successfully used once in all these years.  (The wreath came without the nest; actual birds built it shortly after it was put on the wall.)

This year a pair of house finches decided to give it a go.  The wreath is near the front door which sees increased activity as the weather warms.  This frequently results in a flurry of wings as a startled bird takes flight.

The female is very wary and is hard to photograph.

Here she is on the power line to the house.

Can you see the babies?   I think there are at least three.

And you thought you were having a bad hair day!

The adventure continues tomorrow!

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spreading the Quilting Word in...

Canada!  Last week I spent three fun-filled days teaching two full days of hand quilting and one day of Dresden Plates.  It was my first time working with an interpreter and my heartfelt thanks to the two official interpreters and to the many "unofficial" interpreters who made each class accessible to all.

Tomorrow I will fill you in on the hand quilting days, but I have wonderful pics from the Dresden Day!  Here is Andree's first cardinal block laid out.  Just stunning!  She has plans for a large quilt and also has the same cardinal fabric with a green background.  I can't wait to see it!

Here are four happy Dresden makers!  Can you tell we are having fun?

"Wise Guys" was on display in the show.  We decided to meet there after lunch and take a closer look.  It was such a pleasure to be able to discuss this quilt with the entire class.  

Back in the classroom, we laughed and sang and worked some more.  And here are the ladies with their own plates started.  From left to right:  Terrie, Carmen, Pierrette, Mimi, Nicole, Manon, Lorraine and Andree.  Many thanks, my friends, for a wonderful day.

More of the adventures tomorrow!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Inner Circle by Brad Meltzer.  I hand quilted about half of a small quilt today while finishing Guilty Wives.  I love audio books--I can do two things at once!

Monday, May 28, 2012

They Grow Up So Fast

A pair of robins laid four eggs in a nest under the front porch overhang.  It's been really fun to see how fast the wee ones have grown.  And the faces!

Watch it!  You're crowding me!

Singing for our supper!

I'm almost out of here!
And within about an hour of the last photo, all the babies were gone from the nest.

Travel adventures are on tap for Tuesday's post.

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Guilty Wives by James Patterson.  Talk about intense!  You were so right, Penny!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Amazing...

Hops vine!!!!  I've always sworn you can practically see these vines growing.  Have a look!  Here are the vines on May 12 of this year.

Here they are on May 14.

And these three pics are from May 18.  The yellow one grows faster than the green one.

Today they are over a foot taller than the top of the shed.  Maybe I should think more seriously about the microbrewery!

Happy Monday!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May the Bluebird of Happiness...

fly up your nose!  Anyone know where that phrase came from?

The bluebirds are so beautiful.  I haven't been able to find where they are nesting, but they are staying around the yard.

In less than one week I have basted over 50, yes, I said 5-0, quilt sandwiches for hand quilting classes.  I still love basting, but can easily take a break from these pieces for a while ;-)

What are you up to?

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Comfort & Joy by Kristen Hannah and just finished Sleeping with Fear by Kay Hooper.

Monday, May 14, 2012

What Are the Odds?

Last Friday night I was driving home at about 10:30 pm.  There didn't appear to be anything in the road, but I felt a bit of a bump.  I was only about 2/10ths of a mile from home, so on I went and parked next to the house.  When I got out of the car I heard this hissing noise.  I found my flashlight and went to inspect.  My right rear tire was leaking big time!  I hurried to the shed for Fix-A-Flat, attached it to the tire and started pumping that in as I tried to extricate--the crescent wrench!

Only the head of the wrench stuck out of the tire.  I managed to pull it out this far, but then couldn't finish the job, even with pliers.  By now the tire was completely flat, it was almost the middle of the night and the tire definitely wasn't going anywhere, so I put everything away and went inside.

Saturday morning I called the towing/repair service, who sent a nice young gentleman to put on my "donut".  It had never left the Jeep in all twelve years I've had it.  Looked like it needed a bit of air--but the erstwhile tire guy had a compressor but no end dohickey to put the air from the compressor into my tire.  He said it would be fine to drive about a mile up the road to get air.  He left, turning left; I left and turned right.  About 1/10th of a mile later, almost in the same spot I think where the wrench became embedded, there was a loud thumping noise.  I pulled off the road as far as I could, but there was a huge ditch on the passenger side and I was just over a knoll.  Out of the car and off to the back, peering around the side--to find--the donut was off the rim!

So I called the towing/repair service again and said I was out of tires!  The one with the wrench still in it was in the back of the Jeep and the donut was off the rim.  My only option?  To be towed to the tire place!  So out comes a new guy with a rollback and up the Jeep went.  And up I went into the passenger seat for our not-so-triumphant ride to the tire place.

Many hours later the Jeep was resplendent with four new Goodyear Wrangler tires.  And I thought I was just too wimpy to get the wrench out of the tire, but at least four guys (big, strong guys) couldn't get it out either!  Made me feel ever so much better!  

"Tired" of this story yet?  Hee Hee!  I'm still wondering what the odds are of a crescent wrench becoming embedded in a tire like that.  Maybe one in a million?  Gosh, I am just so special!

Blissful hugs,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

The three most influential women in my life.  Left:  my mom.  Center:  my maternal great-grandmother.  Right:  My maternal grandmother.  And that's me at age 5.  The occasion was my great grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary.

Gee, I just realized that my hair looks almost the same--just a tad bit grayer now!

Hope you all had a fabulous mother's day!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to D.C. Dead by Stuart Woods.

Friday, May 11, 2012

For Your Enjoyment

These were taken today.  Enjoy!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  Many thanks to the Susquehanna Valley Quilters Guild for making me feel so welcome Thursday night!  What a great group of ladies--wish you could have seen the show-and-tell.  One piece brought the house down!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hot Donna's Flimsy-NOT

Stunning.  Spectacular.  Wow!  Donna H. of Trumansburg, NY (aka Hot Donna) hand appliqued the design from my Sunset Palms cutwork pattern onto a patterned background which she has been saving for "someday".  Could this be more perfect?  She also hand quilted this as a gift for a friend in, I think, West Palm Beach!  Lucky friend!

Thanks for sharing, Donna!  You rock!

For the last two or three posts I've been using the term "flimsy-NOT' and I am really liking it!  Others may copy this phrase, but remember you heard it here first.  Hey, that could be my campaign slogan:

Stroud for President - She's a Flimsy-NOT!

Okay, it's late--but even I laughed out loud!  

Have a wonderful Thursday.  And are you remembering how special you each are?

Blissful hugs,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not So Flimsies

Can you believe that Doreen, from Auburn, NY, had little or no applique experience when she started this beauty?  Her friend, Ruth, didn't tell her it was a 13 month class when they started!  (By the way, Doreen and Ruth are both taking the Monthly Bliss 3 class this year and convinced their friend Cathy to come too!)

Doreen's daughter Mandy recently got a new longarm machine and did the fantastic quilting seen here.  She micro-stippled the background, outlined all the flowers and did graceful feathers in the border and sashing.  It is absolutely exquisite!  

You may remember Lori M. from a previous post.  Her flimsy is now a flimsy-NOT!  Lori had hers hand quilted by Amish ladies.  Don't you feel a sense of peace and calm come over you when you look at this?

Debbie and Grace have been at it again!  Grace (on the left) turns 91 soon and is just an absolute joy to be around.  Debbie, her daughter, is holding up one of four glorious placemats she and Grace made for a wedding gift.  Grace hand pieced the flying geese units, Debbie set the tops, and I believe Grace did the hand quilting.  Wish I was that lucky bride!  On the right is their long-time friend, Cheryl, who was convinced by this daring duo to take Monthly Bliss 3--her first attempt at hand piecing!  As you can see, this is a lively bunch, who do exceptional work!

Thank you all for sharing your flimsies-NOT!

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Chill of Fear by Kay Hooper, and reading A Thread So Thin by Marie Bostwick.

P.P.S.  Attention Bliss 3 students at O'Susannah's.  Sharp-eyed Grace found an error (eek!) on the Emerging Star master.  The background pieces should be:  1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13B, 14B, 15B, 16B, 17, 18, 19, 20.  I know not everyone reads the blog, so please pass this information on to anyone you know from the class.  Night class students are okay, as we corrected it in class.  Sorry for the confusion.  Bet you are awake now!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Penny's Fabulous Flimsies

Penny has done it again!  When she came to class last week, she had two new tops done!

First up is the In Baltimore Style that she started about two years ago.  Proof positive that perseverance pays off!  All needleturn applique; a wonderful selection of fabrics and shades.

Penny is camera-shy.  But I did manage to catch this delightful pose!  You can just imagine how much fun she is to be around!  This is A Green Thumb for Everyone which she started last year.  Can you see the purple theme?  Her quilt this year to guess?

Wonderful job, Penny!  Thanks so much for sharing.

Can I just say that this has been one of the best years for students finishing class projects?  As I look at prior posts with finishes, it makes me so proud.

Have you ever wondered about the term "flimsies"?  Some of the larger tops definitely don't feel flimsy!  But I guess they are compared to the quilted and bound variety.  It just makes me laugh to say flimsies!

Spent almost six hours mowing the lawn today.  It looks good!  Still have some work to do in the flower beds, but I've got a pretty good start this year.

That's it for tonight. 

Blissful hugs,

P.S.  I am listening to Private Games by James Patterson.

P.P.S.  I have made some changes to my blog list (on the right).  Added Stacy Westfall (horses) and Sharon Stanley Writes used to be Farm and Fru Fru.